Journalist Michael Feeney Dies Unexpectedly
We are heartbroken at this news. Just recently, Michael J. Feeney was a talented freelancer who BOSSIP relied on several times to cover important trials in the NYC area. Today we learned that the former NY Daily News reporter had passed away Sunday after falling ill suddenly last week.
Some details via NY Daily News:
Michael J. Feeney, a former Daily News reporter who served as president of the New York Association of Black Journalists, died Sunday of complications from a staph infection in his kidneys. He was 32.
Feeney was set to begin his dream job as an entertainment reporter at CNN.com in Atlanta when he fell ill, his mother said.
“Mike did everything to help everyone,” his mother, Reba Willis, said Sunday. “He did whatever he could with any person who he came across who wanted to know anything about journalism and about life.”
Feeney had been in Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, N.J., since Tuesday, she said. He went into cardiac arrest at 1:15 p.m.
Feeney graduated from Delaware State University in 2005. He worked for The Associated Press and later The Record in New Jersey.
Feeney, a Teaneck native, joined The News in 2009. A year later, he was named the emerging journalist of the year by the National Association of Black journalists. In 2011, Feeney was elected to serve the organization as New York chapter president.
In addition to his mother, Feeney is survived by a sister, Maria Feeney; a twin brother, Anthony Feeney; a niece, and a nephew.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. Funeral arrangements are still pending but we ask that you please join us in donating to the Michael J. Feeney Memorial Fund
This video goes a long way in demonstrating how passionate he was about his craft.
It’s hard to put into words what a great person Mike was, so we thought we would share a few posts from some of our colleagues.
A number of social media posts are on the next page.
View this post on Instagram
We used to have this running joke: who took the better selfie w/ Rihanna me or him. I didn't want to believe it when my phone rang all day and my social media timelines kept saying my friend and colleague Michael Feeney died. I learned today that it was a reality. What words would describe him? Here they are: For the people, caring, selfless and dedicated. A talented journalist who was young and did a lot in a short amount of time, dude had a strong pen game. But besides all of that, Michael Feeney was just a damn good person! They say the good die young…but you don't believe it until someone in your circle is that person. It sucks and it hurts, but what a joy when other folks, particularly your colleagues from all walks of life speak well of you and your character! His living was not in vain. I admire the heck out of you, love you bro! Rest easy @mfeenz. 📷📷 @boomtownfm @angielmv #MichaelFeeney
View this post on Instagram
You will be hard pressed to find a more genuinely caring, helpful and true person like Michael Feeney @mfeenz. He would look out in the most major way and not look for that look out in return. I've known him for many years now, to the point that I can't even remember when we first met, but I bet you he could. His award winning journalistic skills would kick in and he'd probably say something like, "Day, it was the night of the big election, cus I was working on a story…" He was always working on a story, a concept, an angle, a thought about a thought that could help young black writers to get ahead. I wasn't into the notion as much, yet he told me I had to get with the NABJ crowd to make some waves in that sector. I told him they don't really mess with us in the trenches of Hip-Hop media writers like that. He was determined to change that. So much so that he ran and became the New York City chapter President…twice! All before he turned 30. Mike hit and invited me to his celebration event and intro'd me to the people that eventually added me to the York College journalism board of directors. I've been indebted to him ever since. He also had me write an obit on Chris Lighty for The Daily News while he was a reporter there. Once again, looking out with no payback seeking. We talked back and forth about many things, mainly how to improve the writing/job climate for black writers, it's a tough lane to tackle…but Mike went at it full force for so many people. And he made a huge difference in improving the lane. Going to miss him and his talent, but mostly his huge heart for others. Rest well bro. #RIPMichaelFeeney
View this post on Instagram
Here we are, our last time together. And there you are, standing over my shoulder, the way you always did. Always the big brother, you were, and to so very many. Forever grateful for your friendship, the brotherhood we shared, the love, the laughs, the secrets, the connection. I felt the air leave my body when I got the news that you were gone, and how could it not? You were such a powerful force on this earth. Your mind, your talent, your drive, your passion. There was nothing you couldn't do. Before I called you a brother or a friend, I looked up to you. I still do. I always will. You touched so many, and had so much more to do. I don't know what I will miss most. There's too much — comes with being a phenomenal human being. That great infectious laugh is a great place to start, but right now I'm trying to wrap my head around not being able to call you or text for hours on end about everything and anything. You touched a lot of souls in your short time here, Mike, with your talent and love and I'm forever grateful for my slice of that. Will always think of you, over my shoulder, making me smile. Being the big brother you were. Thankful to have shared so much with you. I will love you forever. ❤️